At the UCSD Ethnic Studies Symposium, recorded on June 2, 2010, along with my colleagues, I presented my thesis which examines a stand-up comedy show by the famed African American female comedian Mo’nique to provide a resistant praxis of critical reading and consciousness-raising against the institutional mindset of our collective prison mentality. I Coulda Been Your Cellmate (2006) is a performance piece that impels the audience and public to deconstruct our fixed ideas about the hypercriminalization of black and other women of color. My critical engagement with moments of intimacy and humor not only exposes the technologies and techno-logics that work concurrently to maintain dominance and oppression, but also how subvert the forms of rationalism that legitimize systems of oppression, segregation and incarceration as “natural” conditions of contemporary social life. Using Jacqui Alexander’s concept of “healing work is the antidote of oppression,” my work attempts to stitch together the academic and theoretical tools of critical resistance and radical feminist thought to provide an alternative approach towards critiquing an ever-expanding global prison industrial complex.

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